Obsidian's new sci-fi RPG The Outer Worlds borrows quite a bit from previous Fallout games, which is to be expected since the series' original creators are at the helm.
The Outer Worlds is kind of like a futuristic Fallout game that could take place in another dimension, Rick and Morty style. In 2017 we were told the project would be Obsidian's answer to Fallout, and that original creators Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky were piecing together a new IP. This turned out to be true, but old-school Fallout fans will feel right at home with the game, new IP or not. Closed-doors demos reveal the planet-hopping shooter carries the torch of its predecessors in a few key ways.
First off, The Outer Worlds features some obvious staples like character stats (it's like Fallout's S.P.E.C.I.A.L. but with its own acronym). Skills, of course, are also in, and players will be able to sneak and raise their prowess in combat. Every time you level a skill by increments of 20 you're given a perk, up until 100, meaning 5 perks per skill.
There's a very New Vegas-style dialog system that has various skill checks for certain outcomes. You can lie, persuade, and intimidate, and there are special options for "dumb" users too. The game apparently reacts based on your dialog decisions in such a way where early encounters can send dynamic ripples throughout mid- or even late-game events. Companions will react to what you say--and even interject in dialog sequences--as will NPCs, so you should make a good impression when you can.
Perhaps the most interesting Fallout parallel is the game's "flaw" system.
Remember those optional traits in Fallout 1 that granted you bonuses but also balanced out with negative effects? The Outer Worlds will have its own version of this, albeit a more limited one. Flaws essentially let players get a perk point in exchange for a "phobia" that lowers specific stats around creatures, enemies, or even environmental effects.
"It's a typical Obsidian game so it has a lot of choice and consequence. A lot of building your own character and playing the way that you want to play," The Outer Worlds lead designer Charlie Staples told Polygon.
"Along the way, the game watches how you're doing and what happens to the player and we call it a flaw. Say that I've been fighting a lot of robots and here's an opportunity of where we say, 'You can take a flaw and have robo-phobia where you're scared of robots and all your stats will go down when you're near robots. If you accept that, you can take a perk right now.'
A time-slowing mechanic similar to VATS gives players an edge in FPS combat, but doesn't freeze time like its forebear. With Tactical Time Dilation (or TTD), users can target specific limbs but it's somewhere between real-time and paused time. This effect also acts like the ability Scan does in Final Fantasy, showing players info about enemy stats, faction allegiances, and weaknesses.
But The Outer Worlds sets itself apart from Fallout in exciting new ways. Companions are much more interwoven with your experience and tied directly into your team; their skills can compound with your own, and you can order them around like in a light strategy FPS. Combat is also much more layered this time around with lots of unique skill-based opportunities for carnage.
Weapons can be upgraded and modded, and they also have elemental affinities like fire and shock damage. The solar system, Halcyon, is run by mega-corporations straight out of Blade Runner, and each corporation has their own unique gear sets. Some of these sets are higher-grade than others (kind of like Borderlands) and do more damage/can be upgraded more/etc.
Combat is entirely FPS based and your damage and accuracy is determined by your skillset with a particular item. But everything is shooter-oriented so shots will always connect--it's how much damage you do that differs.
Everything we've heard so far about The Outer Worlds paints it as an vibrant, bombastic, and genuinely interesting RPG in a sea of engagement-driven, open-world games. We're excited to see more of Obsidian's New Vegas-like sci-fi shooter in the coming months.
The Outer Worlds is slated to release sometime in 2019 for PS4, Xbox One and PC, and will be published by Take-Two Interactive's new Private Division games label.
"The Outer Worlds is a new single-player first-person sci-fi RPG from Obsidian Entertainment and Private Division. Lost in transit while on a colonist ship bound for the furthest edge of the galaxy, you awake decades later only to find yourself in the midst of a deep conspiracy threatening to destroy the Halcyon colony.
"As you explore the furthest reaches of space and encounter various factions, all vying for power, the character you decide to become will determine how this player-driven story unfolds. In the corporate equation for the colony, you are the unplanned variable."
Last updated: Apr 6, 2020 at 04:45 pm CDT
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